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great trail. good elevatipn. great views. cant get lost either.

Want something more exciting than cowls mountain this is a butt kicker. You will fill it in your calves and it’s not going out that’ll get you. The way Back feels never ending.It may be a short hike but it sure feels long. And once you get back the end of piles you have to go back down cowls but that’s easy. All for all it’s a great hike for intermediate hikers and adventurous people I like. Remember to take adamant water.

a lot of people, met a barefoot hiker who is cool. not too many people would stop and talk though.

Did this hike for the second time today and it is always fun and a really nice view. The first time we went, it was definitely a lot more difficult since the other trail down was much much steeper, but it is permanently closed now. I assume that was for safety reasons, but now the trail is a lot easier so I was a teensy bit bummed out about that. Not a huge deal though, still a wonderful and beautiful hike!

Took this trail starting down on the highway where you park. Approx. a 5000 ft elevation gain up to little round valley camp site. camped 1 night. About 9 miles to camp. another little over a mile to summit. Trail is steady incline almost all the way up. I would classify as strenuous. The views are great. Bring lots of water.

was beautiful can wait till spring hopefully when the water is flowing still so amazing!!

A hidden gem! This is an easy down and back trail in the middle of the city giving you the outdoors without going far.

I went in the morning of Dec 1, 2018 after some good rain. Still no water, but a great time as always. My Garmin watch clocked at 5.09 miles round trip. A bit of bouldering at the falls to get to the top but nothing too hard. The new path around the part where you used to climb down and up the hill made this trail easier in a good way. As always make your own way and be safe.

great for learners, or getting back into shape, or just getting better. great view of San Diego, beautiful sunsets. Easily accessible. pleanty of parking, and places the eat nearby. Downfall is it's often crowded, people think theres maintaneance to pick up their already bagged dog poo and bust leave it on the trail (stupid!) theres zero shade (sucks in the summer), and natural vegetation suffers from frequent human activity (comparing to the rest of mission trails, even during the dry season theres still some green, but hardly on Cowels) a pro to that, is less wildlife (snakes in particular)

Good workout! My steepest trail yet in SD. Hiked up with my dog for the sunset and ran (mostly) down.

It’s an amazing hike is not that hard but take a lot of water with you

Love it weather was great

Nice hike up with combo of mild-moderate inclines, flat areas to recover, and rewarding views at the top. It didn’t feel crowded with people/dogs to the point that it slowed me down. I didn’t bring my dog because of some stories I heard about overheating, wildlife issues, and fights with other dogs. I guess I could see a fight occur where the trail is tighter in spots (same way up/down) and dogs would come in contact with each other. That said, all dogs were well behaved when I was there and the trail was impeccably clean.

An awesome trail for running, and working on steep inclines!

one of the first hikes I've done best hike I've done. easier and easier as I go. running down is always the best. had 1 time where I saw a baby rattlesnake but other than that it was good lots of foot traffic but amazing hike.

Really cool spot!!! So many trails and so much to see! I highly suggest checking out!!

Amazing hike and epic views. My GPS recorded the hike to be just under 8 miles, but I think the trail head doesn’t technically start right at the road and you can do lots of wandering around once you’ve reached suicide rock. I am a bit out of practice with hiking in higher altitudes, so I felt the fatigue after 8 miles more so than normal, but this is definitely a trail that even an inexperienced hiker could accomplish with breaks and proper hiking boots. Trail is pretty easy to follow and the views at the top are so worth the climb! I told the ranger when I got my permit what trail I was hiking and that I had my dog with me and there was no issue, even though other reviews stated no dogs allowed.

16 days ago

Easy to follow, fire/utility road is main trail. Some good elevation swings make it challenging!

Great solo hike! The water was even flowing just past the junction.

Great view at peak for watching SAN DIEGO’s downtown sunset .

Great run down hill!

As with many other reviews, this hike offers AMAZING views and photo ops. Definitely gets crowded because its such a family friendly nature walk. I was very disapointed with the lack of respect I saw for the trails and signs. Although we only saw about 5 people out of the 100s there this morning, it's definitely important to remind one another that rule #1 is respect the trail. People die from not respecting the trail. I saw 2 gentlement ignore "unstable cliffs, please stay back" signs just for a photo op. I also saw a group of about 5 young adults climbing up a rock for a photo op (which everyone was doing) but there was a clear path to climb up and signage to not trespass the way they chose to climb. We told them not to do it but we all need to be respectful so that these trails will last for future generations also.

If possible, find parking near by! Its $25 per car to use their lot!

hiking
18 days ago

I know I'm biased but this is one of my favorites! Yes it can get busy but nothing like Torrey Pines. The views up top are gorgeous and every time Ive been there everyone is considerate and friendly. Ive been at 6am as well as 10pm. Previous reviewers mention being courteous with head/flash lights because some of us do much better with night hikes in the moon light.

Definitely take water. If you go during sunmy hours there is no shade throughout the hike so plan accordingly (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, etc). I am definitely a "slow but steady" hiker and it takes me about 1 hr to the top and about 40 mins down.

Did this in September. It was hotter and harder than expected, but still very fun. It was also completely dry, though we knew that going in. Will go back in the spring when there’s water.

A few warnings: It gets HOT, there’s almost zero shade, and the uphill on the way back is often STEEP/sometimes narrow. I’d say this is definitely NOT a great trail for dogs (several dogs have died on trails recently), and would be hesitant to take kids younger than 12-13 yrs. like everyone is saying— bring lots of water!

Great training hike for other, more rigorous hikes. The trail gives you a great aerobic workout in a relatively short span. It can easily be combined with other trails such as North and South Fortuna. When combined with several other Mission Trails Regional Park trails or when doing the Five Peak Challenge, I begin with this one because it is steep in spots and can wear you down fast. If you haven't hiked this trail in the last five years, much maintenance has been done that has improved the overall quality of the trail.

Lovely moderate hike.

Short and sweet hike to the top. I have done this 3 or 4 times from either trailhead. Can be slippery after a recent rain because the trail can get steep in some spots near the top. Fun to do at night!

Great hike for kids and dogs!

This can get very crowded. It’s fairly steep and has an incredible view of the ocean. One of the best hikes I’ve ever been on. And then you get to walk the beach and maybe have a swim if you feel like it.

love the views

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